Good Deal or Not? Converted Rowhome Into Condos Edition


These condos are located at 3538 13th Street, NW:

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The flier for unit #4 says:

“Sophisticated renovation of grand Victorian semi-detached to four 2 BR, 2.5BA luxury condos. Unit 4feels like a house and boasts 1700 sq’incl 2 Master BRs w/ bas en suite, huge priv roof deck and balcony, chic kit open to huge entertaining sized lr/dr. Fab features incl. new inlaid hardwood flrs, coffered ceils, stunning BRs, w/ d. Pkg Avail. FHA app”

More info and a virtual tour found here.

Wow, it looks like a nice large open layout. It doesn’t seem to have too many original details. But is sure seems huge. So the price for this unit is $629,500. All of the units have 2 beds and 2.5 baths. Unit #3 is going for $549,500. Unit #2 is going for $529,500. And Unit #1 is going for $439,500. Any of these sound reasonable? What do you think of the renovations?

20 Comment

  • Sigh. It’s beautiful.

  • For all the personality the interior exudes, it could be located in some Fairfax County exurb. And those prices strike me as high in this market.

  • There was a previous GDoN on this block. A whole Victorian for $599. It was on the market forever. Comments tended to say it had strange updates. That said, it was a whole house for under 600k that was just sitting on the market. Makes me think the top two of these are not quite low enough in terms of price. Certainly not an offensive starting point, but a little high

  • wayyyyy too expensive for size and location and this market, but the renovations are lovely.

  • Looks good – though there were a few awkward spaces. Saying that I just can’t stand these types of condo projects and can’t see why anyone would pay those prices for units in those buildings. My 2 bedroom 1.5 bath with finished basement and on a corner lot on Capitol Hill would sell for less than $629,500 and my kitchen and bath are quite nice.

  • This is a nice renovation job and I’d hardly say it is as cookie cutter as described above. not super unique, but the floors are really nice and there are a few cool details, plus the upper floor and roof deck are a huge plus. BUT, this is not super close to the metro by C.H. standards, at least a ten minute walk, and the price does not include parking. If they threw a parking space, I’d say something like $600 would be about right, but without the parking, I’d be shocked if they got $600 even in this market.

  • Although actually, it is probably only five minutes from the Petworth metro … but still, I think the price would be more realistic if it included a parking space.

  • I’d say they’re too high. Not obscenely high, but more than just a little. I suspect they’re putting out a high listing price because they know any potential buyers will be gunning for a deep discount no matter what the units list for. I think the renovation was done well though, looks nice inside.

  • This place is closer to the Columbia Heights Metro than Petworth, less than a 10 minute walk, so yes, it is very close to a Metro. I think the price points are a bit high, but overall a nice renovation and more reasonable than most condos on the market.

  • i went to the open house on tuesday. they are beautiful. They are a little expensive for places with no outdoor space and no parking but at least the renovation is very nice. For a change, a beautiful old house was not ruined. go see them.

  • someone said – For all the personality the interior exudes, it could be located in some Fairfax County exurb.

    honestly having dealt with the “personality” of my 102 year old home now for the past six years I can see the appeal of having something that was gut renovated. I’m trying to decide this month whether I like the personality of the leaking roof or the personality of the bricks that need to be pointed or the personality of the creaky floors more.

  • “Personality” sounds strangely like ‘eccentricity’. Who the hell wants that all over town? Give me victorians with inlaid floors and arched windows with deep sills any day!

  • I hear you, Eric, but surely there’s something in between you (and my) problematic personality houses and one that’s had the personality largely stripped away. I mean, for 600 grand…

  • I think they’re about $100,000 too high. Not as bad as $1,000,000 too high like yesterday’s though!

  • Do any of the peole who reflexively weigh in on the inflation of house values actually look at comparables, or is it all just knee jerk reaction? In most cases, comparables on the market and recent sales will tell you a lot more than sticker price. It’s next to impossible to realistically misprice a home by $1 mil unless the $1 mil is a relatively small fraction of the overall price.

  • Anon, I don’t know if you were directing your comment at me, but I think these places offer a good comparison to today’s GDoN?

    Smaller, but listed for $340k – $430 when they went under contract. Since these are bigger, I can see them going for around $450 – $550k depending on the floor. So about $100k high. Of course we can’t see the final sale prices for the Columbia Rd condos yet so who knows, maybe they’ll be way above list price.

  • the seller is likely going to have to come down in price a bit….

  • Doesn’t look bad. My only problem is the size of that fireplace- it’s huge, and makes that living room feel tiny. Also, did anyone else notice that the dark wood inlay next to the fireplace isn’t symetrical? I know this isn’t a huge deal to most people, but it would drive me nuts if I lived here. Anyone else have that reaction?

  • Wow…I feel so connected all of the sudden. Last summer, while looking at houses for sale on 13th St, I struck up a conversation with the investor/builder who renovated — or rather, rebuilt — this house. He gave me a tour of the building and pointed out a lot of the details. The whole back half of the house is new. He basically doubled the size of the building by pushing it almost all the way to the alley. He specifically sought a house without an adjacent building to allow for for windows, balconies, and convenient front/back passage. He dug out the basement so that its ceilings could be coffered and still end up higher than most new construction ceilings. The top two units are both two stories instead of being one story each. They also both have roof decks complete with electrical outlets and garden hose spigots. I’m surprised parking is not available because I recall enough space for his dump truck to be parked out back. The alley is clean and wide, too.

    All that said, I agree that there are some slightly awkward spaces like the platform next to the kitchen in one of the upper units. Plus this is coming up on a year since I was there and they’re still not selling. I can’t recall the exact prices he was asking then, but I know at least one was in the 600’s. Sounds like the market is making it clear that his prices ARE too high.

    And on a totally irrelevant note, I know Frank of 🙂 You should check out his photography at

  • I think the porch lights on the front and side are upside down. That should knock 100k off.

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